How do we organise our curriculum at Lowton West?
A new National Curriculum was launched for Years 1 - 6 in 2014. As a school we plan a curriculum which is based on a series of Learning Challenges and the development of key skills which build upon knowledge and understanding from previous year groups. We plan our curriculum in year groups, within each phase, which enables class teachers within each year group to explore an area of learning together at the appropriate level.
Some subjects are taught as stand-alone subjects such as Reading, Writing, Spelling and Grammar, Maths, RE and Science (although wherever possible, cross curricular themes will be explored within these). For example, when teaching reading comprehension skills the text may be based on a theme or Learning Challenge which is being explored within other subjects eg. Judaism or ‘The Egyptians’. We always encourage our children to make links between subjects in their learning and apply their basic skills in Reading, Writing and Maths to their topic work, for example in Art, Music, Geography, Science or History.
The class teachers in each year group work together to plan each Learning Challenge which focuses learning within a range of subjects (Science, Computing, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology). This is a skills based curriculum which offers opportunities for children to explore new learning often using a key question as a starting point for learning. We strive to make our curriculum relevant and meaningful for our children and utilise opportunities in our local area and resources linked to local history, the local community, local industry and local cultures as a basis for units of work. For example, when learning about the impact that Victorians had on modern life we will first explore local factories and canals and their influence today.
Pre-learning challenges are completed before each new unit of work is introduced. The pre-learning challenges are an excellent way for teachers to gain an understanding of the knowledge that the children already hold and their depth of understanding relating to this next topic. It also highlights the knowledge, skills and understanding that need to be developed over the forthcoming weeks. The information gathered then informs teacher's planning enabling them to plan a wide range of learning opportunities matched to individual needs and learning styles.
Embedded within this we also take every opportunity to explore, teach and demonstrate our commitment to our School Code of Conduct, PSHCE curriculum and the understanding of British Values (Democracy, The rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs).